In consideration of Daniel Day-Lewis’ recent honorary degree, here are the films that gave him the ‘acting genius’ reputation.
10. The Boxer (1997)- Daniel Day-Lewis plays Danny Flynn, newly released from prison and ready to pick up the boxing gloves again, as well as renew a former romance with old flame, Emily Watson. Day-Lewis’ third collaboration with director Jim Sheridan is an underrated and underappreciated gem.
9. The Crucible (1996) - Day-Lewis portrays Winona Ryder’s adulterous lover John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s famous play about witchcraft and truth on trial. Notably, Day-Lewis met real-life spouse, Arthur Miller’s daughter Rebecca Miller.
8. Nine (2010) - Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Fergie, Marion Cotillard and Sophia Loren are part of the nine women that give Day-Lewis’ elusive auteur Guildo Contini a hard time in Chicago director Rob Marshall’s bold remake of the Federico Fellini classic 8 1/2.
7. The Ballad of Jack and Rose (2005)- Day-Lewis teams with writer/director/wife Rebecca Miller for her third film. Based on her novel of the same name, Day-Lewis plays Jack Slavin, the bohemian hippie living on an abandoned commune with his beloved daughter Rose, played wonderfully by Camilla Belle.
6. The Last of the Mohicans (1992) - One of the greatest action movies ever made as well as a fine and lavish period romance. The rousing action set pieces take fiddle to the passionate love story between Hawkeye (Day-Lewis) and Cora Munroe (Madeline Stowe).
5. The Age of Innocence (1993)- Day-Lewis is caught in a vicious love triangle between Winona Ryder and Michelle Pfieffer in Martin Scorsese’s underrated and excellent adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel.
4. In the Name of the Father (1994) - The second outing with Jim Sheridan is a hard-hitting and gritty depiction of the IRA bombings in the 70s and the wrongful imprisonment of Gerry and Giuseppe Conlon. Day-Lewis’ impressive tour de force performance earned him his second Oscar nomination.
3. My Left Foot (1989) – The film that brought Day-Lewis countless accolades and when the label of “Greatest Actor” started to emerge.
2. Gangs of New York (2002) - Martin Scorsese’s second film with Day-Lewis, brought him out of semi-retirement heaven and earned him immense critical acclaim and awards, apart from Best Actor, which went to Adrian Brody for his performance in “The Pianist” (2002).
1. There Will Be Blood (2008) – You know.